Google in Paper Industry’s Crosshairs

paperlessThere’s nothing that we like better in America than picking up an issue – any issue – and promptly installing ourselves on one side or the other with gusto. Climate change/no climate change, guns/no guns … paper/paperless.

Recently, we’ve seen cost-conscious companies replacing publications, manuals and textbooks with tablet computers, even as greater strides have been made in paper and printing techniques. And we paper lovers, being the magnanimous sort, were fine with that. Until Google stuck its oar in.

Under the name of The Paperless Coalition, Google and six other Internet companies launched the “Go Paperless in 2013” campaign, urging us to pledge to go paperless this year…to lessen our impact on the environment.

Understandably miffed, Two Sides, an industry organization dedicated to the responsible use of print, let the search company have it with both barrels in an open letter to Eric Schmidt, Google’s chairman and CEO.

The letter does make some good points by breaking down Google’s own energy use. Most thought provoking? The power used by Google’s data centers accounts for roughly 2% of the U.S.’s annual power use.


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